Thursday, 2 July 2015

End of an Era?

It's silly season here in the UK. This is the time of year when the government takes a holiday, the football season is over, so the papers have nothing to write about  - like most countries we are fairly insular and don't count the rest of the big wide world as newsworthy. Instead we get weather stories - typically floods or a heatwave. This year it's the turn of the heatwave - it was the hottest day in July ever recorded in the UK just yesterday. The BBC website came up with some brilliant "low-tech" hints for keeping cool, including spraying yourself with water, or opening windows in your house.

Things seem to be hotting up on many a forum too, with the latest news on Age of Sigmar causing some massive reactions. As a long term but lapsed player of WHFB, I can well understand the anger, the frustration, the sadness. Anger that the world that was built over 30 years, possibly the richest fantasy world in wargaming history, has been ended in such a brutal, dramatic fashion. Frustration at the complete lack of anything from GW, just a bland logo on the webpage and some (leaked) White Dwarf blurb, which reads in the usual super-cool-awesome way. And sorrow, at the dawning realisation that the game that has given so much pleasure down the years, from the background stories, the stunning art, the collecting of the figures, the painting and the gaming, it's all gone. Yes, there will be free downloads to enable us to continue playing our figures in the new setting(s), and obviously I can continue to play with my collection, using 8th edition (or any of the others I have). But it's not going to be the same. The blow has been softened for me, I have almost expected it for a couple of years, but even so now that it is happening I feel the emotion. When you have invested so much into a hobby, over so many years, it would be inhuman not to feel something when it comes to an end. For me, it's not so much the End Times, more the Sad Times.

I would dearly love to be proven wrong on this, but I reckon there will be no more WHFB as we have known it. The much hoped-for 9th edition will never arrive, not from GW at any rate. They have pulled the plug on that game, that world, and are pinning all their hopes on the new "fantasy" setting. If you are a fan of the new aesthetic, then that's great, a whole new adventure awaits. But it does not appeal to me.

It may well be that a fine new game comes out of all this, which us old veterans could happily use with our existing collections (presumably this is what the free downloads will give us). But the signs are not hopeful - the leaked 4 page "ruleset" seems lacking in so many ways. GW have been telling us for years that they are a producer of models, not rules. With this new setting they are trying out this new business model. I don't doubt there will be some books, but I expect them to be campaign books, less rules as such, more stories and background, pictures of painted miniatures. The rumours that 9th edition will follow on....we must wait and see, but to me it looks highly doubtful. As ever, the truth will out eventually. I try to remain optimistic, but somehow it feels like the end of an era. Sad Times indeed.


Sebastian said...

Good post and I empathise. I was trying to be upbeat on Warseer for example, but yeah, odd ideas and format chipped away and finally I too said not for me. Your post captures my feelings too.

Its a bold move, I can applaud that and understand the move to make a new product, but just not done well with regard long time fans. Such a pity.

This said, it has woken me up through various posts about the internet, to what early edition writers from GW have been up too with other companies.. shall be reading plenty over the next few weeks.

Old Fogey said...

Thanks for the reply, it's good to know there are fellow sufferers out there! Maybe we should start a support group? ;)

There are plenty other games out there, though few that emulate what WHFB did. The nearest is probably KOW, though even this is as much a child of Hail Caesar as it is of WHFB. Worth a try though.

Jonah said...

Keep checking back to see if you've had the time and inclination to KoW - any plans?

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